Wednesday: Hili dialogue

October 25, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to a Hump Day (“Là a’ chroit” in Scots Gaelic): Wednesday, October 25, 2023, and National Greasy Food Day.  I’m having pasta; does that qualify?  The quintessential  greasy meal, of course, would be a cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate shake. Now it’ll be famous, for it’s been found that this is Taylor Swift’s favorite fast-food order.

From flickr

It’s also International Artist Day, World Pasta Day (again!), World Pizza Makers Day, and Sourest Day, ostensibly celebrating those sour gummy candies but really celebrating grouches:

Created by Richard Ankli of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sourest Day has a twofold purpose: to emphasize the balance of things in nature—on account of its proximity to Sweetest Day and to recognize sour people—because it also honors Ankli’s old roommate, Eric Sauer, on his birthday. Contrasts of life are sought, sour people are recognized, and sour food and candy are eaten.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 25 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Gazans try a sea invasion, fail. From i24, an Israeli station:

IDF on the Zikim beach attempted terrorist infiltrations earlier today:

The IDF Navy unit located a Hamas terrorist cell that came out through a tunnel shaft on the coast in the Gaza Strip and tried to penetrate into Israeli territory in the Zikim area by sea. The IDF Navy unit, in cooperation with the air force and the northern division of the Gaza division, attacked the terrorists, and prevented their arrival at the beach. Fighter jets then destroyed the shaft from which the terrorists came out and the weapons warehouse used by the terrorists.

Here’s an i24 (Israeli news) tweet showing the IDF fighting the sea-invading Hamas terrorists:

*Here’s the latest news about the war from the NYT—though I can’t guarantee that some of it doesn’t come from Hamas!

The secretary general of the United Nations said on Tuesday that the attacks by Hamas that left 1,400 people dead in Israel on Oct. 7 were “appalling” but it did not justify the “collective punishment” of civilians in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli military significantly stepped up its bombardment in recent days.

Israel said it had struck more than 700 targets in Gaza in the past two days. The Gaza Health Ministry, which is controlled by Hamas, said that it had recorded the highest single-day death toll of the war on Tuesday: at least 704 people killed in dozens of strikes on homes, a refugee camp and other places. It was not possible to independently verify the toll.

The U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, called for a humanitarian cease-fire in an address to the U.N. Security Council, saying that it was important to recognize that the attacks by Hamas “did not happen in a vacuum” and Palestinians had been subjected to 56 years of “suffocating occupation.”

“The grievances of the Palestinian people cannot justify the appalling attacks by Hamas,” he said. “And those appalling attacks cannot justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

His comments prompted fierce backlash from Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, who called on Mr. Guterres to resign in a post on social media. “It’s truly sad that the head of an organization that arose after the Holocaust holds such horrible views,” he wrote.

The UN secretary general is, of course, an anti Israel stooge (that’s most of the UN), but there is heartening news from the US:

John Kirby, a White House spokesman, said the Biden administration did not support a cease-fire because it would only benefit Hamas and acknowledged that civilian casualties were all but inevitable as Israel tries to push Hamas out of Gaza.

“It is ugly and it’s going to be messy, and innocent civilians are going to be hurt going forward,” he said. The United States, he added, had not discussed any red lines with Israel.

I thought that Biden did call for a cease-fire, which would be a mistake, but maybe I heard wrong. At any rate, Kirby is right, I think. I only wish that Hamas didn’t use human shields, or try to get as many Palestinians as possible killed by Israel to court world opinion.  Golda Meir, not one of Israel’s best Prime Ministers, did get it right when she said this:

“When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons. Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

*At the bottom of Bari Weiss’s new Free Press column, “On double standards and deafening silence“, there’s a summary of war-related news that sounds as if were written by Nellie Bowles (it’s snarky). Here are three items from it:

→ WGA can’t condemn Hamas: The Writers Guild of America has decided to stay silent on Hamas’s October 7 atrocities while acknowledging that that decision would strike some of its members as “inadequate.” You bet it will.

WGA East says the decision follows a recent referendum in which members decided that leadership should “move away from public statements” that do not “direct involve our Guild, our industries, or the labor movement.”

Right. A “move away from public statements” from an organization that has weighed in on Asian-American hate and Roe v. Wade and “the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd” . . . and so on and so forth.

There have been some breathtaking examples of moral cowardice in recent weeks, but the WGA stands out for its ability to muster more outrage over AI-generated articles—they are “an existential threat”—than the mass murder of Jews.

→ Shaun King, Hostage Negotiator: Remember Shaun King, the identity politics grifter? Well, he’s back. And this time he’s single-handedly de-escalating the Hamas hostage taking. Or so he claims. In a very strange post on Instagram last Friday, King appeared to take credit for the release of two American hostages in Gaza, contending that he had “worked frantically behind the scenes” to make it happen. This, it seems, is a total fabrication. In a statement, the freed hostages’ family said: “Our family does not and did not have anything to do with him, neither directly nor indirectly. Not to him and not to anything he claims to represent.”

→ Hogan dumps Harvard: Moderate Republican and former Maryland governor Larry Hogan has taken a stand against campus intolerance by announcing that he will not take up the fellowships he was due to start at Harvard next month. “I cannot condone the dangerous antisemitism that has taken root on your campus,” said Hogan in a statement Monday, adding that he hoped the move “may help further spur you to take meaningful action to address antisemitism and restore the values that Harvard should represent to the world.”

*And I consider this very bad news. After a long hiatus, Iran (via its thugs) has resumed attacking U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq—possibly a prelude to a very wide conflict. I’ve always wondered if Israel is, even at this moment, considering taking out Iran’s nascent nuclear program? That may have to wait a while until things settle down (if they ever do) in Gaza. From the WSJ:

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Tuesday that Washington would react “swiftly and decisively” if Iran or its proxy forces attack U.S. personnel after Tehran raised the risk of a larger Middle East conflict in recent days by unleashing the regional militias it has spent years arming.

For more than six months, these Iranian-backed militia groups refrained from launching drones or rockets against American troops in Iraq and Syria, as part of what appeared to be an undeclared truce between Tehran and Washington.

That came to an abrupt end when U.S. officials said that Iran-backed groups launched 10 drone and rocket attacks against bases that U.S. troops use in Iraq and another three on a U.S. base in southeast Syria.

The attacks were carried out between Oct. 17 and Oct. 24. In one of the attacks at al-Asad air base in Iraq last week, U.S. troops shot a militia group’s drone out of the sky, where it fell atop of an American drone and destroyed it, U.S. military officials said.

In Yemen, the Iranian-backed Houthis also fired five Iranian-provided cruise missiles and launched about 30 drones toward Israel in an attack that was larger than initially described by the Pentagon, U.S. officials said.

Last week, the USS Carney guided missile cruiser, which was operating in the northern Red Sea, shot down four of the cruise missiles while a fifth cruise missile was intercepted by Saudi Arabia as it protected its airspace, according to people familiar with the episode. Those cruise missiles have a range of more than 2,000 kilometers (about 1,240 miles), the Pentagon said Tuesday, which would enable them to reach targets in Israel.

Thank Ceiling Cat that the U.S. carrier forces are hovering in the Mediterranean near Israel.  For without them, I think Hezbollah would already have widened the war with a full-out attack on Israel for the north. I do think that Biden would order a harsh attack on Lebanon if Hezbollah tried anything.

*Glory be—the House Republicans have nominated a speaker! (Tom Emmer is now the Majority Whip in the House.) But there are GOP holdouts who need to be persuaded:

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the House majority whip, was elected as the GOP speaker nominee on a fifth ballot in an internal race that drew nine Republican candidates. However, he does not yet have enough support to be elected on the House floor because of Republican holdouts. To prevail, Emmer would need a majority of the full chamber. Emmer, who has been in Congress since 2015, previously chaired the National Republican Congressional Committee — the House GOP campaign arm — for four years. He is the third Republican speaker nominee since the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

. . . On the vote for speaker, the conference eliminated candidates with each ballot. The last remaining candidate besides Emmer was Rep. Mike Johnson (La.).

. . . A separate vote taken behind closed doors among House Republicans made it clear that Emmer is well short of the votes he would need to prevail on the House floor.

House Republicans have adjourned their all-members meeting so that speaker designate Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) can talk to the roughly two dozen holdouts in a smaller group setting, according to lawmakers leaving the room. They have been told to reconvene in the same room at 4 p.m. Eastern.

“It’s a dumpster fire, frankly,” Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) told reporters as he left the room.

Man, it’s been a dumpster fire for a long time! It’s also hurting the country. On June 1 we run out of money again and the government will shut down, and the WaPo adds this:

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the stalemate in the House is affecting President Biden’s ability to manage global affairs.

“It would be really helpful if he could also get the support of Congress up on Capitol Hill, particularly for this supplemental funding,” Kirby told reporters at a White House briefing. “It will be immensely simpler and easier for the president to manage all these multiple crises if we could get that funding for Ukraine, the funding for Israel, the funding for the Indo-Pacific strategy, and of course, down at the border.”

As I read it, Emmer’s political positions are pretty hard right.

*The AP “Oddities” section reports the theft of two million dimes being trucked away from a U.S. Mint. 

Federal authorities have released more details and unsealed charges in the theft of more than 2 million dimes earlier this year from a tractor-trailer that had picked up the coins from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.

The truck driver was bound for Miami when he pulled into a parking lot to sleep on April 13. During the night, thieves made off with a portion of its cargo of $750,000 in dimes, a shipment weighing about six tons, authorities had said earlier.

Thousands of coins were left scattered all over the lot in northeast Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that prosecutors contend that the theft — which they now say totaled $234,500 in stolen dimes — was part of a spree of robberies from tractor-trailers passing through the region that also netted the thieves frozen crab legs, shrimp, meat, beer and liquor.

Detectives said at the time that surveillance video showed six men, dressed in gray hoodies and armed with bolt cutters, approaching the truck in the middle of the night and breaking into it, then loading the coins into smaller bags and into a waiting truck.

The indictment unsealed Friday alleges that after the theft, thousands of dimes were converted into cash at coin machines in Maryland or through deposits to at least four different suburban Philadelphia banks, the newspaper reported.

Four suspects “face conspiracy, robbery, theft of government money and other charges.”  I would suspect that banks would have been on the alert for people trying to cash in huge number of dimes, and I wonder if that’s how the suspects were caught!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wants a nosh:

Hili: We are turning away from the sun.
A: Time for supper.
In Polish:
Hili: Odwracamy się od słońca.
Ja: Czas na kolację.


From BuzzFeeed. Beware: cannibals!:

From Mary:

From Seth Andrews, who asks, “Do I have a cousin I don’t know about?”

From Masih. This is a new tweet because although the photos of her face and of her in the hospital have been shown before, there’s a video of her walking unveiled, which is new.

Titania has tweeted, though I don’t think this guy should have been arrested (I guess he did violate British law, but not American):


Yes, Greta, who’s always put me off though I applaud her dedication and her cause, stands with Gaza:

From Barry. I’ve enjoyed the absence of Tr*mp, but he’s making stupid noises again. What Barry asks of this is “what is our religion?”

From Simon, a photo of Larry the Cat. And Simon says, “And they DO!” Try it for yourself!

Reader Jez says that this photo cheers him up, as it’s a rough time for all. This is cheerful!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a woman who died in her twenties:

We have two tweets from Matthew about salps (he posted on them on this website in 2010):

This thread tells you how weird salps are: here’s a rope of clones produced by asexual reproduction. Be sure to see the thread.

20 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1415 – Hundred Years’ War: Henry V of England, with his lightly armoured infantry and archers, defeats the heavily armoured French cavalry in the Battle of Agincourt.

    1616 – Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog makes the second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at the later-named Dirk Hartog Island off the West Australian coast.

    1854 – The Battle of Balaclava takes place during the Crimean War. It is soon memorialized in verse as The Charge of the Light Brigade.

    1861 – The Toronto Stock Exchange is created.

    1875 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B♭ minor, Op. 23 premieres in Boston, Massachusetts, with Benjamin Johnson Lang as conductor and Hans von Bülow as soloist.

    1917 – Old Style date of the October Revolution in Russia.

    1920 – After 74 days on hunger strike in Brixton Prison, England, the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney dies.

    1924 – The Zinoviev letter, which Zinoviev himself denied writing, is published in the Daily Mail; the Labour party would later blame this letter for the Conservatives’ landslide election win four days later.

    1940 – Benjamin O. Davis Sr. is named the first African American general in the United States Army.

    1944 – World War II: Heinrich Himmler orders a crackdown on the Edelweiss Pirates, a loosely organized youth culture in Nazi Germany that had assisted army deserters and others to hide from the Third Reich.

    1944 – World War II: The USS Tang under Richard O’Kane (the top American submarine ace of the war) is sunk by the ship’s own malfunctioning torpedo.

    1945 – Fifty years of Japanese administration of Taiwan formally ends when the Republic of China assumes control.

    1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis: Adlai Stevenson shows the United Nations Security Council reconnaissance photographs of Soviet ballistic missiles in Cuba.

    1971 – The People’s Republic of China replaces the Republic of China [i.e., Taiwan] at the United Nations.

    1973 – Egypt and Israel accept United Nations Security Council Resolution 339. [The resolution was adopted by the UN on 23 October 1973 in order to bring a ceasefire in the Yom Kippur War where Resolution 338 two days before had failed.]

    1983 – The United States and its Caribbean allies invade Grenada, six days after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several of his supporters are executed in a coup d’état.

    2001 – Microsoft releases Windows XP, which becomes one of Microsoft’s most successful operating systems.

    1800 – Maria Jane Jewsbury, English writer, poet, literary reviewer (d. 1833).

    1802 – Joseph Montferrand, Canadian logger and strongman (d. 1864).

    1803 – Maria Doolaeghe, Flemish novelist (d. 1884).

    1825 – Johann Friedrich Julius Schmidt, German astronomer and geophysicist (d. 1884).

    1838 – Georges Bizet, French pianist and composer (d. 1875).

    1838 – James Maybrick, English cotton merchant, victim of the “Aigburth Poisoning” (d. 1889). [More than a century after his death, Maybrick was accused of being the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper, owing to his own words in a diary, but critics countered that the diary and confession are a hoax. Forensic tests were inconclusive. In his book They All Love Jack, writer, researcher, and filmmaker Bruce Robinson produced an argument that it was his brother, Michael Maybrick, who was the true killer. A serial killer, who became known as the Servant Girl Annihilator, preyed during 1884 and 1885 upon the city of Austin, Texas, and there have also been attempts to link Maybrick to those murders.]

    1864 – John Francis Dodge, American businessman, co-founded the Dodge Company (d. 1920).

    1881 – Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and sculptor (d. 1973).

    1882 – Theodora Agnes Peck, American author and poet (d. 1964).

    1902 – Eddie Lang, American jazz guitarist (d. 1933).

    1910 – William Higinbotham, American physicist and video game designer (d. 1994).

    1932 – Jerzy Pawłowski, Polish fencer and double agent (d. 2005).

    1944 – Jon Anderson, English singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1952 – Wendy Hall, English computer scientist, mathematician, and academic.

    1957 – Nancy Cartwright, American voice actress. [The long-time voice of Bart Simpson.]

    1975 – Zadie Smith, English author and academic.

    1979 – Bat for Lashes, English singer.

    1984 – Katy Perry, American singer-songwriter and actress.

    1989 – Mia Wasikowska, Australian actress.

    Manifestly, dying is nothing to a really great and brave man:
    1400 – Geoffrey Chaucer, English philosopher, poet, and author (b. c.1343).

    1514 – William Elphinstone, Scottish bishop and academic, founded University of Aberdeen (b. 1431).

    1895 – Charles Hallé, German-English pianist and conductor (b. 1819).

    1949 – Mary Ackworth Orr Evershed, English astronomer and Dante scholar (b. 1867).

    1955 – Sadako Sasaki, Japanese girl (b. 1943). [Two years of age when the nuclear bombs were dropped, she was severely irradiated and survived for another ten years, becoming one of the most widely known hibakusha—a Japanese term meaning “bomb-affected person”. She is remembered through the story of the more than one thousand origami cranes she folded before her death. She died at the age of 12 on October 25, 1955 at the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital.]

    1960 – Harry Ferguson, Irish-English engineer, founded the Ferguson Company (b. 1884).

    1986 – Forrest Tucker, American actor (b. 1919).

    1989 – Mary McCarthy, American novelist and critic (b. 1912).

    1991 – Bill Graham, German-American concert promoter (b. 1931).

    1992 – Roger Miller, American singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1936).

    1993 – Vincent Price, American actor (b. 1911).

    1995 – Bobby Riggs, American tennis player (b. 1918). [Played Margaret Court and later Billie Jean King, winning the first match but losing the second.]

    2002 – Richard Harris, Irish actor and singer (b. 1930).

    2004 – John Peel, English radio host and producer (b. 1939). [The longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004. His first wife was 15 when he married her, legal in Texas where he married her in 1965, and he subsequently had sex with other under age girls in the UK.]

    2014 – Jack Bruce, Scottish-English singer-songwriter and bass player (b. 1943).

    2015 – Lisa Jardine, English historian, author, and academic (b. 1944).

  2. I’m not sure how well the “I’m not violating the law of a foreign country” defense will go down…..well actually, I guess I am pretty sure.

  3. I’m afraid our host is (understandably!) a bit behind — Emmer had already withdrawn his bid as of late yesterday afternoon, only hours after attaining the nomination. I don’t know how to link, but that should be easy to verify.

    Mike Johnson of Louisiana became the fourth and latest nominee late last night, and the circus goes on.

    1. Yes, Emmer was deep-sixed because he, GODS FORBID, certified the election for Biden; Trump couldn’t abide. If they ever elect a speaker, it has to be one that didn’t certify the 2020 election for Biden. Reality is the enemy of Trump and the GOP, and if that doesn’t scare people, I don’t know what will.

      It should also be noted that the GOP’s dysfunction serves the purpose of tying Biden’s hands in this time of deep crisis. They might say things to the press like it’s a “dumpster fire” or a “shit show” but for many in the GOP (esp. the Freedom Caucus) malignant chaos is a feature, not a bug. They could care less about funding our government, Ukraine, Israel, or anything else. Like Trump, they want to watch the world burn.

      We should have a poll:
      Will the GOP shut down the government November 17th?
      I vote: Yes

  4. Also, I loved the two tweets from MC. Life is amazing, and the strange reproductive strategies can be mind bending. Although even in species in which individuals switch sex, they are either male or female at any given time.

  5. The blue octopus is cropped out, or the photo was shot again – here is a copy of the “original” (hopefully not AI – this user is not a Thunberg fan, MOTWYW):

    I read about the antisemitic trope of the blue Churchill octopus (I never knew about before), and looked at octopus plushies on Amazon (after the buzz started), and conclude the similarity is an accident.

    You be the judge. The octopus was omitted by Thunberg nonetheless. There was an acceptable (IMHO) apology. I can’t be bothered to find it.

    1. I know. It seems a stretch, but there are literally no other extraneous objects in the photo. As someone pointed out in the NY Post article about this: “It is not the octopus that makes this all tweet feel very antisemitic … It is the [complete] denial of torturing, raping, beheading, and kidnapping thousands of Israelis,”

  6. Yes, Greta, who’s always put me off though I applaud her dedication and her cause, stands with Gaza

    That’s an edited version of the photograph in which a blue octopus was removed after Greta was accused of spreading an anti-Semitic meme. She claimed ignorance, saying that the toy octopus is “a tool often used by autistic people as a way to communicate feelings”.

    I’m happy to be corrected, but I believe that this is the only photo in which Greta has ever appeared with this communications tool, making her explanation unlikely. I mean, what a coincidence that THAT photo is the one it shows up in!

    1. Oops, I see that Thyroid has already posted about this at #5. Not for the first time, I posted before refreshing the page.

      I also meant to add that the toy octopus also comes in other colours, so the fact that Greta’s in the photo is blue is either another amazing coincidence or else evidence of her being disingenuous.

    2. Ah, cheers mate – perhaps I wrote in a muted way. My conclusion is the similarity is an accident….

      [ begin conspiracy theory infinite loop ]

      … or is it CONSPIRACY!

      OK sorry, I’m sorta joking…

      … OR AM I?!


      [ go to conspiracy infinite loop ]

    3. The thing I think is worth pointing out, though, is :

      The interpretation of the very carefully spelled sign is that the person expressing the idea has some deeper insight to Israel / Palestine that is beyond us. They know the “Nuance”, if you will.

      If that is true, one could reasonably expect from the writer a familiarity with, at least, antisemitic propaganda. I’ve taken to noting propaganda – it’s real easy to do – get books, look on the Internet. I’ve found some F’ed up stuff (a user here posted the “Giftpilz” (?) – totally sick, as it was for grade-schoolers). The blue octopus trope is right on top on the Wikipedia page on antisemitic propaganda. Hard to miss.

      So – I’m not saying being paranoid is good, nor can any given person know every antisemitic cartoon.

      But Greta Thunberg is not, as far as I can tell, just anyone. One might reasonably expect more from her.

    1. I argue (on another comment) that the blue octopus is likely accidental, and reasonable to dismiss for any average person.

      But, IMHO we have reason to expect Thunberg to be more knowledgeable in particular with this topic.

      That is, Thunberg is professing a deeper insight in a specific affair than average people. Yet, it never occurred to her, the accidental yet uncanny resemblance to an antisemitic trope that someone with deep insight would be expected to know about.

      Because that blue Churchill octopus is easy to find out about.

      So I find more reason not to take Thunberg seriously (at least).

  7. (Ceiling Cat, off the record. I know you signed the petition about M.E.. However, I hope you discover that he wasn’t fired for his views. Believe me, it wasn’t about his support for Palestine. I wish I could say more, but I will have to let you figure it out from others.)

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